The Greek-American president of the University of Southern California, C. L. Max Nikias, resigned on Tuesday amid a raging sex scandal involving a university gynecologist who is accused of conducting inappropriate exams for decades, The New York Times reports.
“The university had already pledged to ‘begin an orderly transition’ to find a new president, but it appeared to fast-forward the process on Tuesday, announcing that Mr. Nikias would step down effective immediately,” the NYT says.
Two hundred faculty members, joined by upset staff and students, have earlier this year demanded Max Nikias resign, protesting he did not remove the school gynecologist.
The staff members sent a letter demanding Nikias’ resignation to USC’s Board of Trustees, stating that he “lost the moral authority to lead” after the gynecologist was kept on staff, the Los Angeles Times and other media reported, adding that the trustees were standing by him.
The statement came after four former USC students sued the school and Dr. George Tyndall who they claimed frequently made crude comments, took inappropriate photographs and forced them to strip before groping them under the guise of medical treatment for his “sexual gratification,” the civil lawsuit said.
Reports indicated that the behavior had been going on for years, including since Nikias became President in 2010 and while he condemned what Tyndall had allegedly done that wasn’t enough to satisfy critics who said there should have been sterner action before the doctor left and was given a severance package.